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Layton was head of intelligence for the U.S. Pacific Fleet during World War II. He was largely responsible for intelligence gleaned from descriptions of codes being used by the Japanese at the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway and subsequent Pacific campaigns.

In December 1940 Layton became intelligence officer for the fleet commander at Pearl Harbor, Adm. James O. Richardson. He continued to serve in that role for Richardson’s successors, Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz.

Layton was a champion of using code-breaking information in planning operations and had a strong supporter in Admiral Nimitz. At the end of the war Layton, then a captain, was ordered by Nimitz to join him at the Japanese surrender ceremony on the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945--a mark of the admiral’s regard for Layton’s staff’s intelligence work.

Layton retired in 1959 as a rear admiral.


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